Questions & answers

June 2010

The Fernando English version was my introduction to Abba. I then discovered the beautiful Swedish version -- very different but quite brilliant -- and then the German version, which is very confusing and enigmatic. Perhaps you can explain who wrote it and to what it refers. Though Bjorn certainly spoke German, it seems unlikely that he wrote the lyrics. The story line in the German version differs clearly from? that of both the English and Swedish versions. What is taking place under the cover of darkness? It seems to be a demonstration, an effort to overcome popular apathy: (Und sie ließ die Wellen schlagen an die Ufer der lnteressenlosigkeit.) Does this refer to a known event? Who wrote the German lyrics?

Much thanks,
Liam, USA 



The German lyric was written by M. Frances. As far as I know it was only recorded by Polar stablemate Lena Andersson, using a remixed version of ABBA's backing track. I don't know if the German lyric refers to any specific event.


I will be playing the piece composed by Bjorn and Benny "Butterfly wings" in the Swedish sometimes this month, I was wondering if you had any idea how I can get my hands on the sheet of music of it ?

Thank you,
Hassan, UK



I'm afraid not. Hassan. Sheet music for some BAO and other Benny-composed songs are available on the Mono Music website (click on Noter), and a BAO notalbum is available, but 'Butterfly Wings' ('Lätt som en sommarfjäril') is not included.


I've always wondered if the 'glockenspiel'/bell tune in the beginning and ending of 'Like An Angel Passing Through My Room' was done as a little acknowledgement to 'Peter Pan' (its beginning); and the related connection to Frida & Benny, as those hooks sound so similar (although 'Peter Pan's 'glockenspiel'/bell tune is a bit more detailed). If it was, I wouldn't be surprised, as I remember reading years ago how only Frida and Benny were together during the recording of ‘Like An Angel Passing Through My Room'’, and I felt that even though they were divorced, that they’re friendship was still there, and this was perhaps a sad closing tribute to the major part of their relationship.

Thanks and cheers,
Tony, Australia



I doubt that it was as intentional as that, though there are many recurring themes throughout Benny's compositions (for example there are some who see a resemblance between the verse melodies of 'Inga Theme' and 'I Am The City'). Both Benny and Björn have said that they like to find the best treatment for a song. It's probably just a coincidence that 'Peter Pan' and 'Like An Angel Passing Through My Room' have similar sounds.


Here´s some info on the ABBA-lithograph (in the Q&A section). It´s from 1977 for sure and it was made by the Swedish artist Ture Sjolander. The modern touch in this lithograph (or perhaps serigraph) is probably a result of Sjolander´s early interest of video art (it even has that old style tv-screen shape to it!). It´s a very rare piece of art!

Best regards,
M.M, Sweden



Thank you for the additional information, M.M. I was not familiar with this artist or his work. (this refers to a question posted in June 2009)


Do you know why Sweden changed the sides that they drive on (on September 3, 1967 when Frida won the talent contest in Stockholm)? I’ve always wondered if the swap-around had something to do with the high volume of Volvo and Saab sales in America meaning that it may have been economically better for those companies to produce more left-hand drive cars for their own country’s consumption.

Tony, Australia



Apparently all cars in Sweden were already left-hand drive because the first cars in Sweden were left-hand drive, and the tradition continued. Sweden's neighbouring countries, especially Norway, were already driving on the right side of the road. This article on Wikipedia has a lot of interesting information, and this contemporary article from Time is interesting reading..


Here’s a question… Any ideas on why there was never a promo video (official or otherwise) for So Long? What is because of lack of chart position, or did just not bother? We had videos for Ring Ring and Waterloo (as such) which came out before So Long.

 Simon, UK



The promotional films for 'Waterloo' and 'Ring Ring' were made in June 1974, a few months after 'Waterloo' was released. They were made primarily for distant markets "like Australia and New Zealand" (as was said the time), where ABBA could not visit for television promotion as they could in Europe. As 'So Long' didn't really become a hit in Europe ABBA and Polar probably felt it wasn't worth the bother promoting the single in far off countries either. The next four promotional films were made to promote the ABBA album as a whole, with only 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' a single at the time they were made (April 1975), and 'SOS' slated to be the next single. It was only with 'Fernando' that it became practice to make a film clip for a new single, and even then not always - 'Chiquitita's snowman clip was filmed a month after the single's release, almost as an afterthought during the making of ABBA in Switzerland.


What ABBA records have been released on the nice thick 180g vinyl?

Trudy, Australia 



The ones that I know of are:

  • Arrival - half speed mastered, USA 1981
  • Arrival - Europe 1998, with Fernando as bonus track 6 on side 2. This one is sometimes claimed to be a double album with bonus tracks but it isn’t.
  • All 8 studio albums - Europe 2001, same artwork as the 2001 remastered CDs, but no bonus tracks
  • Arrival - Japan 2007
  • ABBA – The Album - Europe 2008, also available USA and Australia. Cover replicates the UK Epic gatefold. Part of a series commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 33⅓ RPM 12 inch long-playing album.


J'ai un 45T promo de Abba TRES RARE à vendre. Combien pensez vous que cela coûte?

Vincent, France



That is an unusual single. That could be quite valuable as a one-sided promotional single for a B-side. I couldn't begin to guess but maybe a collector out there may be able to give an idea of what your single might be worth.


Is your visit to ABBAWORLD time limited (e.g. 2 hour limit)?

Lynette, Australia



There is no limit on how long you can spend visiting the ABBAWORLD exhibition. However your ticket to use the interactive activities - the quizzes, your photo on an ABBA album, perform with the ABBA avatars, record your ABBA memories, etc -  expires four hours after registration at the entrance. Generally it can take around two to two and a half hours to go though the exhibition, but if you take your time to closely look at everything you can easily spend four hours or more.


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